Online shoppers are unforgiving – once they’ve gone, they’ve gone for good

Posted on by experian

Estimated read time: 3 mins

When it comes to buying financial services, utilities, or car insurance, just one in five (21%)* of us favour speaking to a provider in person, while the rest prefer online dealings.

Despite complex information, terms and conditions that underpin financial products and services, the vast majority of customers favour online transactions, according to our new research. Car insurance (54%) and utility providers (53%) top the list with consumers saying they prefer to apply online than deal with an individual.

But four out of five (81%) of us experience frustration when following a providers’ digital journey. The biggest bug-bear for nearly a third of online applicants (29%) was answering all questions only to be told they did not qualify.

Online shoppers are unforgiving, with nearly two out of five of us simply opting to go elsewhere. It also emerged that poor sentiment sticks, with a similar number (29%) avoiding the provider completely in the future.

Over-55s are particularly prone to this behaviour with more than one in three (36%) saying they would avoid providers permanently after a bad experience online.


People want the convenience and flexibility of being able to apply for essential services online – particularly when time is an issue. For those who get turned down, it’s not necessarily due a bad credit history. Our research shows that for one in eight (12%) it was because further proof of identification was needed, while for one in nine (11%) there just wasn’t enough information about them.

But more and more people are just giving up on an online provider if they find the experience is too difficult and protracted. Regardless of the desire to avoid talking to someone, online shoppers still – quite rightly – expect a great customer experience.

With less than one in five (19%) likely to contact the provider to address the issue, it is clear that the rest are ready to go elsewhere if they have the choice. User experience is quickly becoming one of the most important considerations for businesses that have an online offering, but this also has to be balanced with robust security and fraud prevention systems.

To see the findings in full, simply click here.


Survey conducted by Opinium Research between 23 and 25 September 2015 amongst 2002 respondents to a nationally representative sample. *Respondents were asked whether they prefer to apply for the following products online or in person:
Utilities (gas, water, electricity)
Current account
Public sector services e.g. driving license, tax returns
Mobile phone
Credit card
Claim on house insurance
Claim on car insurance
Benefits e.g. jobseekers allowance, working tax credit
Personal loan

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